MILLER, P. J., ANDREWS, J., and SENIOR APPELLATE JUDGE
Miller, Presiding Judge.
convicted Laverne Lee Allen of incest, rape, child
molestation, and aggravated child molestation, stemming from
his sexual abuse of two of his children. Allen now appeals
from the trial court's denial of his motion for new
trial, challenging his convictions on grounds of (1)
insufficient evidence; (2) ineffective assistance of counsel;
(3) admission of impermissible character evidence; (4)
prejudicial admonishments from the courtroom deputy; and (5)
the improper limitation of examination of a witness.
conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the
jury's verdict; trial counsel's performance was
reasonable; the trial court committed no error in its
admission of testimony; the courtroom deputy's
instructions to Allen did not result in prejudice; and any
error on the part of the trial court in limiting the witness
examination was harmless. Therefore, we affirm.
in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict,
record shows that Allen and Rayciayah Lindsey are the parents
of four children, including a daughter, T.A., and a son, L.A.
When T.A. was around five or six years old, Allen bit her
vagina over her clothing, and she reported this to her
maternal aunt. The aunt relayed this to Rayciayah, who
demanded that Allen leave the home. Allen moved away from the
home for a while, but later returned.
when T.A. was eight years old, Allen began placing his hands
under her clothing and touching her buttocks and vagina. From
that time, until T.A. was fifteen years old, Allen had
vaginal and anal intercourse with T.A. "so many times
that [she] lost count. T.A. did not want Allen to have sex
with her, and the acts hurt each time, but because she was
scared of Allen, she "took [her] clothes off"
"on [her] own" when Allen wanted to have
intercourse with her. Allen threatened T.A. that if she told
anyone about what was occurring, he would hurt her, L.A., and
occasion, when the son, L.A., was six years old, he entered
his parents' bedroom and saw T.A. lying on her back, with
Allen positioned between her legs, with his underwear around
his knees. L.A. observed Allen go "up and down" on
T.A. T.A. was screaming for Allen to get off of her, and when
L.A. attempted to tell Allen to do so, Allen told L.A. to
leave the room and later cautioned him that if he told anyone
about what he had seen, he would hurt him. T.A. recounted
that Allen also hit L.A. after this incident.
from when L.A. was nine years old, and continuing until he
was eleven, Allen had anal sex with him nine times. During
the acts, L.A. told Allen to "stop, " but Allen
refused, sometimes pushing L.A.'s head into a pillow when
he yelled. L.A. made no outcry to his mother because Allen
warned him that if he told anyone, he would hurt L.A. or
"put [him] in the ground . . . six feet under the
ground." L.A. believed that Allen would act on these
threats because he had previously seen Allen with a gun. When
L.A. later began living with his maternal aunt, he told her
about the abuse.
2012 and 2013, while Allen was not living in the family home,
Rayciayah began asking T.A. whether anyone had been touching
her. After initially denying that she had been having sex,
T.A. implicated her male cousin, rather than Allen, in an
attempt to protect Allen. T.A. later admitted that Allen had
been having sex with her. The following year, when Allen
returned to the home, T.A. told him that a "white
man" had sexual contact with her, referring to her
friend's father. Allen called the police, and in
T.A.'s statement to the officer, given while in
Allen's presence, she maintained that a "white
man" had sexually assaulted her. Hours later, police
returned to the home after they received another call, and
T.A. told the officer that her earlier account was untrue,
that Allen had been raping her, and that she could not guess
the number of times it had occurred. Allen later instructed
L.A. to tell T.A. to retract this latter statement to the
Clayton County grand jury indicted Allen on 18 charges,
specifically, six counts of child molestation (OCGA §
16-6-4 (a)), five counts of incest (OCGA § 16-6-22 (a)),
three counts of aggravated child molestation (OCGA §
16-6-4 (c)), two counts of rape (OCGA § 16-6-1 (a)), and
one count of influencing a witness (OCGA § 16-10-93 (b)
(1)). Allen's first trial resulted in a mistrial after
defense counsel and the prosecutor learned that T.A. received
a medical examination after she made the allegations, the
results of which had not been in the State's case file.
Allen was retried the following year and was convicted of the
influencing-a-witness count. The jury was hung on the
remaining counts of the indictment, and the trial court
declared a mistrial as to those counts.
2016, when Allen was tried a third time, the jury convicted
him on the remaining counts of the indictment, and he
received a sentence of life imprisonment. Allen moved for a
new trial, and, after a hearing, the trial court denied the
motion. This appeal followed.
Allen contends that there was insufficient evidence to
support the jury's verdict, given that T.A. implicated
different persons as her abuser, and because the State
presented no DNA evidence. This argument is meritless.
reviewing a defendant's challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence, we view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the jury's verdict, and the defendant no
longer enjoys the presumption of innocence." (Citations
omitted.) Lancaster v. State, 291 Ga.App. 347, 348
(662 S.E.2d 181) (2008). "We do not . . . re-weigh
testimony, determine witness credibility, or address
assertions of conflicting evidence; our role is to determine
whether the evidence presented is sufficient for a rational
trier of fact to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
(Citation omitted.) Hall v. State, 294 Ga.App. 274,
275 (668 S.E.2d 880) (2008).
victims testified to the incidents as explicated above, and,
even in the absence of DNA evidence, this testimony was
sufficient for the jury to convict Allen beyond a reasonable
doubt of every charge in the indictment. Tinson v.
State, 337 Ga.App. 83, 85-86 (1) (785 S.E.2d 914) (2016)
(corroboration of a sexual crime victim's testimony is
not required); Mangham v. State, 291 Ga.App. 696,
697 (662 S.E.2d 789) (2008) (testimony sufficient to support
guilty verdict on aggravated child molestation although
uncorroborated by medical evidence).
the jury viewed the forensic interviews of the victims, in
which they both indicated that Allen had committed the acts.
T.A. testified that she did not implicate her father at first
because she was "covering up" for him and was
scared of him. L.A. also explained that his father had
threatened to hurt or kill him if he made any outcry. The
forensic interviewer, who was accepted without objection as
an expert in forensic interviewing and child advocacy,
testified that she had concluded that neither victim had been
coached, and that threats like those Allen made to the
victims commonly lead to a delay in disclosure of abuse.
any event, it is the jury's role to resolve conflicts in
the evidence and determine the credibility of witnesses, and
the presence of such conflicts does not render the evidence
insufficient." (Citation and footnote omitted.)
Malone v. State, 277 Ga.App. 694, 696 (1) (627
S.E.2d 378) (2006); Crane v. State, 291 Ga.App. 414,
415-416 (662 S.E.2d 225) (2008) (evidence sufficient although
victim initially offered conflicting accounts regarding
whether appellant molested her). Here, it is clear that the
jury resolved any conflicts in the evidence adversely to
Allen, and we will not disturb the jury's findings in
this regard. Accordingly, the evidence authorized the jury to
find Allen guilty of the offenses for which he was convicted.
his second enumeration of error, Allen contends that reversal
is warranted because the verdicts were against the weight of
the evidence and contrary to the principles of justice and
equity. Allen raised this issue before the trial court at the
hearing on the motion for new trial, but the trial court
declined to exercise its discretion to overturn the
jury's verdict. We find no error.
Even when the evidence is legally sufficient to sustain a
conviction, a trial judge may grant a new trial if the
verdict of the jury is "contrary to . . . the principles
of justice and equity, " OCGA § 5-5-20, or if the
verdict is "decidedly and strongly against the weight of
the evidence." OCGA § 5-5-21. When properly raised
in a timely motion, these grounds for a new trial-commonly
known as the "general grounds"-require the trial
judge to exercise a "broad discretion to sit as a
(Citation omitted.) Allen v. State, 296 Ga. 738, 741
(2) (770 S.E.2d 625) (2015).
[w]hether to grant a new trial based on OCGA § 5-5-21,
i.e., that the verdict is strongly against the evidence, is
one that is solely in the discretion of the trial court, and
the appellate courts do not have the same discretion to order
new trials. Thus, even when an appellant asks this Court to
review a trial court's refusal to grant a new trial on
the general grounds, this Court must review the case under
the standard set forth in Jackson v. Virginia,
[supra], that is, if the evidence viewed in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, supports the verdict or
verdicts. (Citations ...